06th Jun2017

‘American Gods 1×06: A Murder of Gods’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Orlando Jones, Pablo Schreiber, Peter Stormare, Kristin Chenoweth, Gillian Anderson, Cloris Leachman | Created by Neil Gaiman | Developed for TV by Bryan Fuller

american-gods-a-murder-of-gods

In American Gods last week, we got to see the two sides of the upcoming war. This week Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) needs to recuperate, but will his chosen hiding place be the right one?

On the run from the New Gods, Mr Wednesday takes Shadow (Ricky Whittle) to one of his oldest friends, Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen). While this is going on Laura (Emily Browning) and Mad Sweeney (Pablo Shreiber) go on a road trip of their own with new friend Salim (Omid Abtahi).

This week’s American Gods starts off with a not so subtle look at Christianity, and Jesus. It is interesting that he should show up helping Mexicans trying to find their way over the border, but it also hits at the point that if Jesus was to show up today, he would go unnoticed and his sacrifice ignored. It is striking through, especially in the style that American Gods represents his coming.

Back to the story of Mr. Wednesday and Shadow, we see the darker side of Mr. Wednesday and his selfish desire to survive. Not only does he get Shadow away from Laura as quickly as he can, but he also constantly pushes for him to forget about her. I get the feeling though that isn’t going to be easy, especially with Mad Sweeney helping her.

Vulcan is an interesting God, but even for those who haven’t read the book it is easy to see where his allegiances lie. He is a God that enjoys the devotion of his gun loving flock, and it is eerily reminiscent of last week’s episode where Media tries to persuade Mr. Wednesday with weaponry as a way to gain devotion.

The whole look of Vulcan’s little town of gun lovers also connects to the America of today. It is an extreme version of those who grip so tightly to their weapons, and defend the right to have guns. We could go deeper into that, but in context to American Gods, Vulcan is now the God of guns, and he lets us know exactly why. Thankfully Mr. Wednesday’s reaction is fittingly epic and will no doubt go down as one of the highlights of the show.

Last week I mentioned that I hoped that Mad Sweeney and Laura would work together, and this week it actually happened. It is interesting to see that Salim has joined them in his quest to find the Djinn. It seems this trio will be just as interesting as Shadow and Mr. Wednesday, but it’ll be no surprise if these two groups join together later on their road trips.

American Gods has really found its groove now, and the story is flowing nicely. This week’s episode may be a little formulaic in its storytelling, but it is an episode that is needed. We don’t get to see the New Gods causing more chaos, they simply watch on as the events unfold. What we do see though is that not everything is going to go smoothly for Mr. Wednesday, he is going to have a fight.

What I like about American Gods is that it is going up against Twin Peaks, and while it may not share the same hype right now, it is still holding its own and surviving in its own space in the busy world of television. Two different shows, American Gods and Twin Peaks are showing that 2017 is one hell of a year (so far) for shows and as fans we’re damn lucky to have such good shows available to us.

****½  4.5/5

American Gods is available on Amazon Prime on Mondays.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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